Painting Day

...Yesterday a few friends and I had our first painting/creativity day. I have had a chat with Chroma who make the juicy oil paint-like acrylics I paint with, and they were happy to supply paints for this first, experimental workshop. Chroma pays painters to demonstrate their products; I wasn’t paid at this stage but was interested to try to work out how to set up a safe, playful, supportive environment where people could be brave enough to do something new. It went so well that there will be more - although we may need to find a bigger venue than my living room!

The idea was to approach it as a cross between kindergarten and a mad scientist’s laboratory - to explore and experiment and loosen up, not trying to finish with an artwork but rather enjoying what happens when you put this here, or smear that there, etc. A digital camera is great to capture a painting if you like it, so you can then keep going and make a mess of the whole thing!

I ended up with a forest as autumn approaches - I keep coming back to trees!

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Into the wild- or not...

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The other day I went outside to tip some vegetable water on the garden and heard a huge racket above in the Queensland Firewheel tree. It was a group of rainbow lorikeets squabbling and rabble-rousing. The next time I went outside they were still at it, but there was a mighty rustling of leaves as well. I took a closer look and as I stood below, the leaf-rustling seemed to be descending through the tree towards me. A dark shape emerged, and I was eyeball-to-eyeball (albeit two of them were upside down) with a baby fruit bat! It had a band on its thumb so was clearly one of the orphans from a colony in the bush below me who had been hand-reared and were newly released.





I dashed for the camera and took a few snaps, then moved inside and watched from the kitchen so it could go about its business returning to the wild. You have to understand that my kitchen wall in all glass. So, having had my moments taking a good look at her, she flapped across to the palms outside the kitchen, moved as close to the window as she could get, and proceeded to take a good look at me. We looked at each other for some moments in our various gravitational orientations, she slipping on the palm branches and me wanting to commune with her while knowing I should let her get on with her re-orienting to nature. However, she seemed to be more oriented to me. I guessed she was still bonded to her carer.



In front of the house next door are some power lines where bats are often electrocuted as their wingtips span the gap between wires. I knew I should leave the baby alone but was afraid she might get zapped, so eventually ventured out with a stripey beach towel. She happily climbed aboard and half clung to it and half to my shoulder as I maneuvered through gates and down steps to a small fig tree below the house. I unpicked her claws from towel and tee shirt fabrics and deposited her on a branch, then dashed back to the stairs. I couldn’t resist watching to see what she would do. She looked about, then, like one of those triumphant scenes in a movie where out of the skies a wild creature comes to its human friend (the sort of thing you fantasised about in primary school - that’ll show them!), she spotted me and flapped across to land beside me. VERY exciting. But, I knew I should make myself scarce so did. Later she was asleep and clinging to a fig root on a cliff face below the house, so was comfortably out of the sun, and by the next morning she was gone. Sigh.
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Other nature recently - a little spider who catches its prey in a tiny net which it casts over them, and a china duck who sits out front where our elderly duck used to rest. Susie, my dog, lies out with it the way she used to lie with its live predecessor............................